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Indian music

Rag Desh is an Indian piece of music. Indian music has a long history going back more than 2000 years. It is closely linked to Hinduism and religious philosophy. They many Hindu gods are often worshipped through performances of raga, both vocal and instrumental. In particular, the god Shiva is associated with the music and dance in Hindu philosophy and there are many pieces in praise and honour of this particular deity.


The music of India can be divided into two great musical traditions:

  • The music of Northern India (the Hinduism tradition)
  • The music of the South (the Carnatic tradition)

The Oral Tradition

Unlike Western classical music, Indian music is not written down as conventional musical notation. Instead, it is taught through listening and playing by ear - called the oral tradition.

Indian families have a system of master-pupil teaching known as a gharana. A father might teach his son how to play through an intensive course involving listening and memorising. The son would then pass on his skills to the next generation and son on. However, playing styles will inevitably change as new techniques are added by subsequent generations and so the process is a duel one of consolidation and evolution of playing skills.